This is Korean Oscar Award Winning Movie Parasite Review, Summary. Starring Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Lee Jung-eun. Parasite is sweeping the awards, selling out cinemas around the world, and it’s finally landed in the UK. It follows the Kims, a down-on-their-luck Korean family struggling to pay the rent and bills on their semi-basement flat while working an array of part-time jobs. All that changes when son Ki-woo is offered a job by an old friend: go and teach English to the daughter of a rich family, the Parks.
One by one, the Kims lie and manipulate their way into an array of jobs in the Park household, operating under assumed identities that are unrelated to each other. Oscar Award Winning Movie Parasite Review. This comedy plot, with its heady mix of farce and social realism, is already a great set-up; but all is not what it seems in the Park house, and the film takes a very unexpected turn.
To say more would spoil the surprise, so I’ll get into spoilers later in the film with a very clear warning. For now, let’s talk about the movie in a spoiler-free way. The parasite is the latest film from director Bong Joon-ho, whose previous films Snowpiercer, Okja, The Host, Mother and Memories of Murder have all offered very interesting subversions of genre elements that also focus on social commentary in a big way.
If you’re interested in finding out more about his work, check out my Beginner’sGuide on Little White Lies, linked in the description and in a card right here. Bong has got a bit of a reputation for showy films with a weird central premise; Parasitemostly bucks that trend by remaining relatively grounded, Parasite Summary, and in that sense is much more like memories of Murder than the worldwide super-pig antics of Okja, for instance.
But the rich character writing present across all his films is on full display here, with the relatively limited cast carefully bought to life. The Kims all have distinct speech patterns and ways of coping with their difficult situation, and the Parks likewise have interesting separate personalities.
Here the all-star Korean cast is on the great form; it’s impossible to pick out a single actor that does better than another, it’s a real team effort. Importantly, their chemistry is also believable and lends additional depth to the film interactions. You can see that in the different interactions between Ki-taek and Chung-sook.
The parents in the Kim family, and Dong-ik and Yeon-Kyo, the parents in the Park family. The Kims fight, a lot, but have an easy rapport that shows the importance of their struggles together. The Parks in contrast barely share screentime, and what time they have together is stilted, difficult performative. All that wonderful performance stuff means that the characters avoid becoming caricatures,which is important when dealing with difficult political themes as the film does.
At its heart, it’s about how working poverty can brutalize people; it’s portrayed as killing the ability to plan long-term, shutting off empathy, making people desperate. Parasite Review. The wealthy characters in the film are conversely naive, fake, and harsh; they screw lives over on a whim with little provocation. But the film’s depth of characterization means it doesn’t feel didactic, and interactions between the two families develop in surprising ways.
None of this would be as interesting without the wonderful craft of the film. Both the Park and Kim family homes are fully built on soundstages with seamless digital effects work; I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t been told. It’s really a triumph of production design and VFX. It’s helped by the masterful cinematography, which- as is typical for a Bong Joon-ho-directed film- jumps about with plenty of long tracking and overhead shots.
The quality of light in the film is interesting; it’s really naturalistic, and again contrasts heavily between the dingy Kim home and the ultramodern, light and airy Park home. Oscar Award Winning Movie Parasite, Above all, the edit stood out to me; there’s a number of clever montages in the film that work marvels with displaying the at-times complicated plottings of the Kim family, and simultaneously provide great laughs at the expense of the Parks.
The film’s as comfortable with its comedic moments as it is with the more surprising stuff that happens later on, and that’s very much to do with the edit. The last thing I can say, spoiler-free: go watch Parasite, preferably in the cinema if you can, hopefully with mates, family, loved ones or a general audience; the movie completely captured the sold-out screening I was in, with plenty of laughs and gasps.
It’ swell worth the price of admission. After that, track down some other Bong Joon-ho stuff; I’m very partial to The Host. Now, spoilers will commence in 3, 2, 1: cool. Welcome to spoiler territory. Once the Kims are well ensconced in the life of the Parks, they make a terrifying discovery; the former housekeeper who they ousted has been hiding her husband in secret sub-basement for years.
He’s sort of mad, driven by isolation to considering Mr. Park as a godlike figure and trying to communicate with him via flickering light switches and Morse code. It’s an astonishing turn of events that are handled with great skill by Bong; the creeping dread from the subtly off-kilter performance by the former housekeeper outside in the rain, the rising action of the manic rush to hide everything before the Parks arrive home, is an instant classic sequence of cinema.
Throughout this latter part of the film, I couldn’t help but think of it as Hitchcockian. Bong is a big Hitchcock fan- he said so in the BAFTA Screenwriter’s lecture, which I was lucky enough to attend and which you can see on youtube. The film is replete with foreshadowing, callbacks, and has a great sense of humor that’s quite dry and character-driven.
Then, in its second half, it takes a massive turn and becomes a suspense thriller, driven by stunning visual setpieces; suddenly what seemed funny isn’t funny at all. Oscar Award Winning Movie Parasite Review. That’s just like Psycho or The Birds. What also happens in this latter half is that the political themes come to the fore in a more intense way. That man who lives in the basement has been driven mad by poverty, forced to hide from mounting debts and loan sharks.
And it transpires that his main source of difficulty was the closing of his shop, implied to be where Ki-taek worked years before. So they’re both in similar situations, and that ultimately leads to Ki-taek taking his place after killing Mr. Park. Both men are blind to what’s causing their problems; the basement guy literally thinks of Mr. Park as a god, as a benevolent father; Ki-taek says that the Parks are nice.
Although his wife points out, it’s not hard to be nice if you’re rich. He seems to be of the opinion that being poor is just because he hasn’t worked hard enough yet; that if they can all get jobs, they can work their way out. He certainly hopes for that for his kids. As the latter half develops Ki-taek twists into anger as he overhears what the Parksreally thinks of him.
It’s well communicated by the recurring theme of his semi-basement smell, a problem that runs throughout the movie from its very first scene. He gets his own back, in a way, but is doomed to live underground as a result. The ending gives pause for thought, though. Ki-woo interprets his father’s morse code message and we see a future where he’s earned enough to buy the house and free his dad.
I think it’s easy to interpret that as another aspirational story, where he works hard and finds freedom for his parents; that seems like a refutation of the ‘rich/poor divide is entrenched’ themes. But then again, it isn’t the last moment of the film; the last shot shows Ki-woo writing this letter explaining this plan, and as his dad says earlier in the film, ‘life can not be planned’.
That vision of freeing his dad is just that, a vision, an imagined moment; the reality is far from that hopeful future. That’s it from me, but I know there’s a lot to discuss in the comments and I cant wait to do it. Stuff I’d love to discuss includes the significance of Native American imagery inthe film, favorite moments, and your interpretation of the ending. Have a good one, bye for now.
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